Six candidates of Jatiya Party (JaPa) have not yet entered the election campaign in six constituencies of Khulna, since the official campaign for the 12th parliamentary election started three days ago.
Three of them have taken a stand in favour of withdrawing from the election contest now. The remaining three agreed to monitor the situation for two or three more days.
However, most of the leaders of the party’s district, metropolitan, thana, upazila and ward committees expressed their opinion in favour of withdrawing from the election.
A meeting was held at the Jatiya Party office at Dakbungalow intersection in the city from 11am to 2pm on Thursday.
Six candidates of the party, presidents and general secretaries of the metropolitan, district, thana, upazila and ward committees and associate organizations were present in the meeting.
At the meeting, most of the leaders expressed anger and said that they are not satisfied with the overall situation of the election.
According to party sources, leaders and activists of Jatiya Party expressed anger and frustration as the Awami League did not give concession to the Jatiya Party in any of the six seats in Khulna.
They thought that the Awami League would leave the Khulna-6 seat to the Jatiya Party, but it did not happen.
Jatiya Party’s Khulna-4 constituency candidate Md Farhad Ahmed said most of the leaders in their speeches favoured withdrawing from contesting the election.
“The issues will be informed to the central leaders of the party in Dhaka within a day or two. If they do not get a satisfactory solution from there, the six candidates can return to Khulna and boycott the election through a press conference,” said the Jatiya Party candidate.
Several leaders present at the meeting said that Al Mamun of Khulna-3, Shahid Alam of Khulna-5 and Shafiqul Islam Madhu of Khulna-6 constituency have expressed their desire to withdraw from the election immediately.
Khulna-3 constituency candidate and metropolitan Jatiya Party general secretary Abdullah Al Mamun said, “The anger among the leaders and activists is mainly over the sharing of seats. Complications have arisen as the Awami League has revealed that the Jatiya Party will be given 26 seats.”
“Arrangement has been made so that we do not get votes outside those seats, said Al Mamun. “Now people are calling us brokers. What will we say to the voters?”
Asked why the election campaign has not yet started even after three days, Jatiya Party’s Khulna-2 constituency candidate Gausul Azam said, “We have not started the campaign yet as there is anger and dissatisfaction among the party leaders and activists.”
Echoing Gausul Azam, Kazi Hasanur Rashid, the Jatiya Party candidate for Khulna-1 constituency, mentioned that they haven’t started the campaign due to unresolved issues.
“We’ll go to Dhaka and decide out next steps after discussing with central leaders,” said Hasanur Rashid.
Shahid Alam, the party candidate for Khulna-5 constituency, mentioned that Jatiya Party didn’t receive any seat from Awami League in Khulna, leading to frustration among party leaders.
“During the meeting, party leaders advised us against contesting the elections,” he told UNB.